Nav Class Facts
- Info from Bruce Ashcraft (AETC/HO) Randolph AFB, TX on February 24, 2006.
- The first class to graduate from James Connally Navigator training was 51-19
- The first class to graduate from Harlingen –unknown
- The first class to have electronic training at Connally was 64-05.
- Last UNT Class at Harlingen was 62-22
- The last class to graduate with aviation (air) cadets at Connally was 65-15 (see photo)
- The last class to graduate at Connally was 66-18.
- Undergraduate Navigator Training was conducted at Mather AFB, CA when James Connally closed. First modern day UNT class at Mather was 66-19
- Last UNT class at Mather was 93-06
- First UNT class at Randolph was 93-07
- Last Class at Randolph was in Fall of 2012– number unknown
- Training moved to Pensacola NAS FL and conducted there as of today.
- Navigator Training is now called Combat System Officer (CSO)
Some of the large Classes to graduate at Connally/Harlingen were:
61-05 Harlingen -126
61-04 Harlingen -122
55 D-N-Connally -102
61-03 Harlingen – 100
64-10 Connally – 82 54 X-N Connally -81
63-10Connally – 79 64-04 Connally – 78
Info provided by Jack Thomas (61-02 Aviation Cadet Class 61-02 at Harlingen): Class 61-02 was the last class to attend Pre-flight training at Lackland AFB, Texas. After Class 61-02 graduated from Lackland, all further Pre-flight was conducted at Harlingen AFB, TX or James Connolly AFB, TX.
–AIRCRAFT: Navigator training of the period commenced in the TC-45 Expeditor or TB-25 Mitchell, followed by transition to the T-29 Flying Classroom, although by the late 1950s, all aircrew training had been consolidated in the T-29. Navigator training for Aviation Cadets was merged with that for commissioned officers and conducted at James Connally AFB, Texas; Harlingen AFB, Texas; Ellington AFB, Texas and Mather AFB, California. Follow-on training qualified some of these navigators in additional fields, such as radar navigator/bombardier,
electronic warfare officer or radar intercept officer.
–END OF CADET PROGRAM: The USAF Aviation Cadet program ended for pilots in 1961 and navigators in 1965. In 1960, the Air Force implemented the Undergraduate Pilot Training (UPT) concept. From now on the United States Air Force Academy (started in the fall semester of 1959), The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps, and the Air Force Officer Training School were to provide all of its pilots and navigators.
–LAST AVIATION CADET CLASS-JAMES CONNALY
The last Aviation Cadet navigator class was 65–15 at James Connally AFB.:73–74 It was made up of Eulalio Arzaga, Jr., James J. Crowling, Jr., Ronald M. Durgee, Harry W. Elliott, Timothy J. Geary, Robert E. Girvan, Glen D. Green, Paul J. Gringot, Jr., William P. Hagopian, Steven V. Harper, Robert D. Humphrey, Hollis D. Jones, Evert F. Larson, Gerald J. Lawrence, Thomas J. Mitchell, Ronald W. Oberender, Raymond E. Powell, Victor B. Putz, Milton Spivack, Donald E. Templeman, and Herbert F. Turney. These aviation cadets became USAF 2nd lieutenants. and were awarded their navigator wings on 3 March 1965. Class 65-15 chose classmate Cadet Steven V. Harper of Miami, Florida, for the honor of “Last Aviation Cadet” based on his high academic, military, and flying grades.